embezzle

verb
em·​bez·​zle | \ im-ˈbe-zəl How to pronounce embezzle (audio) , em- \
embezzled; embezzling\ im-​ˈbe-​zə-​liŋ How to pronounce embezzle (audio) , -​ˈbez-​liŋ , em-​ \

Definition of embezzle

transitive verb

: to appropriate (something, such as property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use embezzled thousands of dollars

Other Words from embezzle

embezzlement \ im-​ˈbe-​zəl-​mənt How to pronounce embezzle (audio) , em-​ \ noun
embezzler \ im-​ˈbe-​zə-​lər How to pronounce embezzle (audio) , em-​ , -​ˈbez-​lər \ noun

Did you know?

English has a lot of verbs that mean "to steal," including pilfer, rob, swipe, plunder, filch, and thieve. Embezzle differs from these by stressing the improper appropriation of property to which a person is entrusted—often in the form of company funds. First appearing in English in the 15th century, embezzle derives via Middle English from the Anglo-French embesiller, meaning "to make away," formed from the prefix en- and the verb besiller, meaning "to steal or plunder." Related to embezzle is bezzle, a verb used in some British English dialects to mean "to waste or plunder" or "to drink or eat to excess."

Examples of embezzle in a Sentence

He was caught embezzling money from his clients. He was convicted of embezzling.
Recent Examples on the Web That investigation has led to charges against 15 of the bank’s former officers, employees, and customers alleging a scheme to embezzle million of dollars by issuing bad loans with little or no collateral and falsifying records to cover it up. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, 14 Jan. 2022 Luna and his mother, Alma Yanira Meza Olivares, also allegedly put in motion a scheme to embezzle millions of dollars from the prison system and were stealing pandemic relief supplies and then re-selling them to the government. Christopher Sherman, ajc, 8 Dec. 2021 Beck, the longtime player in Georgia GOP politics, lied to close friends and a cousin to drag them into his scheme to embezzle more than $2 million from Georgia Underwriting Association. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, 12 Oct. 2021 Beck ran a scheme to embezzle money from GUA from February 2013 through August 2018, the indictment says. Kate Brumback, ajc, 12 July 2021 Beck ran a scheme to embezzle money from GUA from February 2013 through August 2018, the indictment says. Kate Brumback, Star Tribune, 12 July 2021 Pearson pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to embezzle union funds and use of a facility of interstate commerce to aid racketeering. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 6 July 2021 In December, less than a month after the divorce filing, news broke that Erika and Tom were being sued for allegedly using their split to embezzle money. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, 2 July 2021 Williams had pleaded guilty in September to a charge of conspiracy to embezzle union funds. al, 28 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'embezzle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of embezzle

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for embezzle

Middle English embesilen, from Anglo-French embesiller to make away with, from en- + besiller to steal, plunder

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Time Traveler for embezzle

Time Traveler

The first known use of embezzle was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near embezzle

embetter

embezzle

Embiaria

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Last Updated

26 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Embezzle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embezzle. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for embezzle

embezzle

verb

English Language Learners Definition of embezzle

: to steal money that you have been trusted with

embezzle

verb
em·​bez·​zle | \ im-ˈbe-zəl How to pronounce embezzle (audio) \
embezzled; embezzling

Kids Definition of embezzle

: to steal (money or property) despite being entrusted to take care of it The banker embezzled money from his customers.

embezzle

transitive verb
em·​bez·​zle | \ im-ˈbe-zəl How to pronounce embezzle (audio) \
embezzled; embezzling

Legal Definition of embezzle

: to convert (property entrusted to one's care) fraudulently to one's own use — compare defalcate

Other Words from embezzle

embezzlement noun
embezzler noun

History and Etymology for embezzle

Anglo-French embeseiller to make away with, from en-, prefix stressing completion + beseller to snatch, misappropriate, from Old French, to destroy

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